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Côte d'Ivoire / Human Rights: UN Expert launches third mission to the country

GENEVA / ABIDJAN (21 September 2012) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire, Doudou Diène, will undertake his third official mission to the country from 24 September to 12 October 2012, to gather information on the human rights situation in Côte d'Ivoire.

“I hope to be able to assist the Government of Côte d'Ivoire and relevant actors in the follow-up of the recommendations of the 2011 International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d'Ivoire and of the resolutions of the Human Rights Council, including recommendations on fighting impunity,” M. Diène said.

“An important part of my work is to address the issue of impunity for gross human rights violations in Côte d'Ivoire, including the monitoring of the judicial responses to the crisis in the country, both at the national and the international levels,” the Independent Expert noted.

During his 19-day mission, the Independent Expert will meet high-level officials, including President Alassane Ouattara. the President of the National Assembly, Guillaume Soro, Prime Minister Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, and a number of other ministers, judicial officials, security officials, and heads of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Human Rights Commission.

The human rights expert will also hold meetings with civil society representatives, religious and traditional leaders and the diplomatic community. The Independent Expert will visit detention centres throughout the country.

Mr. Diène is also due participate in the opening ceremony of the 52nd ordinary session of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights to be held in Yamoussoukro from 9-22 October.

The visit will enable the Independent Expert to gather information on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire with a view to submitting his report to the Human Rights Council at its twenty second session to be held in March 2013.

The Independent Expert will hold a press conference on 12 October at 11:00 at the UNOCI Headquarters in Abidjan.

Doudou Diène (Senegal) took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire on 1 November 2011. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. Mr. Diène was previously the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in 2002—2008.

The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the Human Rights Council resolution 17/21 adopted on 17 June 2011 for a period of one year to assist the Government and relevant actors in the follow-up of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire and of resolution 17/21 of the Human Rights Council on Côte d’Ivoire, including the recommendations addressed to the international community. The mandate was renewed by the Human Rights Council in June 2012 for one year.

UN Human Rights, Country page – Côte d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact: Guillaume Nguefa (+255 (0) 620 33 32 / ngefa@un.org) or Martin Seutcheu (+41 79 444 4355 / mseutcheu@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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